Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making Education a Priority

If you have done any reading on my blog, the Twitter feed, or the Facebook page (come on over and "like" me! I only need 2 more people to get to 25), and now my Google+ page, then you know I push learning. I don't just "blah, blah, blah" about it here on the blog. I actively pursue meaningful academic enrichment for my children, in school and outside of school.

Ever since I was a kid, my parents talked to me as though college was a forgone conclusion.  They stayed positive about education even though my dad never graduated high school and no one else in their families had ever gone to college.

We are cheerleaders for learning in our house. What does that mean? We review homework. We ask about school (even if all we get is "it was OK" for two weeks straight). We sign the kids up for as many afterschool academic enrichment opportunities as we do sports.

My youngest daughter, 9 year-old (almost 10) Flurpee, is signed up for some extra work at a tutoring center. When it came time to schedule our meetings, the class times available overlapped with soccer. When I told the manager that we would rather have this extra academic work instead of soccer, he said, "More parents should think like that".

Notably, soccer is not a passion of my daughter's. She enjoyed it, but she could also do without it. I would not have her trade something she loved for the extra academics. That would be dismissive of her personal values. It would also harm our ultimate goal.

How could we encourage a love of learning when she resents the additional classes because they displaced something she truly loved?

That is a fine line to walk as well. I do not feel the same way about watching television or playing video games--though I do not remove those completely either.